IAEA, Iran agree on access to nuclear sites

26 August 2020

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran said today they had agreed to "further reinforce their cooperation and enhance mutual trust" to facilitate the full implementation of Iran’s Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and the Additional Protocol thereto, which has been provisionally applied by Iran since 16 January, 2016.

(Image: IAEA)

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi and Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, held talks in Tehran yesterday, which Salehi later described as having been "constructive". Grossi had travelled to Iran to discuss access for IAEA inspectors to Iran's nuclear sites.

In a joint statement today, the IAEA and Iran said that, after "intensive bilateral consultations", they had reached an agreement on the resolution of the safeguards implementation issues specified by the IAEA, "in good faith".

Iran is voluntarily providing the IAEA with access to the two locations specified by the agency and facilitating the IAEA verification activities "to resolve these issues". Dates for the IAEA access and the verification activities have been agreed, they said, without naming them.

The IAEA verification activities will "proceed in accordance with" the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA) and the Additional Protocol (AP), and the IAEA’s standard verification practice as implemented for all its Member States "on an equal basis and without discrimination".

"In the context of resolution GOV/2015/72 adopted by the Board of Governors on 15 December 2015, the IAEA and Iran recognise that these safeguards implementation issues are exclusively related to nuclear material and activities subject to safeguards under the CSA and the AP," the statement said. "In this present context, based on analysis of available information to the IAEA, the IAEA does not have further questions to Iran and further requests for access to locations other than those declared by Iran under its CSA and AP," it added.

The IAEA will continue to take into consideration Iran's "security concerns", it said, by protecting all safeguards confidential information in accordance with the IAEA's Statute, the relevant provisions of the CSA and the AP, and the established IAEA confidentiality regime, standards and procedures.

In June, the IAEA Board of Governors adopted a resolution calling on Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA in implementing its NPT Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol, and satisfy the IAEA's requests without further delay. Last week, the USA asked the UN Security Council to re-impose sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Grossi's visit was not related to this 'snapback'.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News